Nov 15, 2013

MLIT to discuss ideal state of use of official aircraft slots at Haneda

The Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport & Tourism (MLIT) will inject adjustments and deliberate on the ideal state of the utilization of the "slots for official airplanes and other aircrafts" at the Haneda Airport. Against the backdrop of the reinforcement of the functions of airports in the capital sphere and the transfer of the flight inspection equipment base to the Chubu International Airport from Haneda Airport at the end of fiscal 2014, the ministry will discuss how the slots for official planes and other aircrafts ought to be put to use. The transfer of the flight inspection equipment base is envisioned to bolster the flexibility of the use of the official plane slots. With this, the promotion of the utilization of business jets, for instance, along with other matters will become subjects of studies and options henceforth.

The slots for official planes and other aircrafts will be provided for 30 flights (15 departures and arrivals each) daily in the daytime period (6:00AM-11:00PM). Priority rankings will be implemented in relation to the acquisition of slots in the designated area and maximum limits per timeframe. Application for use of the area must be filed on the 15th day of the month prior to the month of departure/arrival, with the list for the aircrafts that may use the slots to be fixed by the 25th day of the preceding month.

At present, the priority rankings for the designated slots will be:
(1) Operation of the following aircrafts outside of training flights - the operation of flight inspection aircrafts and planes of the Japan Coast Guard (JCG), operation of aircrafts chartered by the Japanese government (including cargo flights) and operation of aircrafts for official purposes upon the request of government institutions (including cargo flights)
(2) Operation of media aircrafts (limited to aircrafts stationed at Haneda Airport), excluding training flights
(3) Airworthiness inspection and test flights conducted by the Civil Aviation Bureau
(4) Operation of the following aircrafts for training flights - the operation of flight inspection aircrafts and planes of the Japan Coast Guard (JCG), operation of aircrafts chartered by the Japanese government (including cargo flights) and operation of aircrafts for official purposes upon the request of government institutions (including cargo flights) and media aircrafts (limited to aircrafts stationed at Haneda Airport)
(5) Relief services, airfreight flights, passenger chartered flights (except inclusive tours) and domestic cargo chartered flights for own use
(6) General aviation
(7) Additional seasonal flights and inclusive tour-related chartered flights
(8) Cargo chartered flights (excluding domestic cargo charters for own use)

For instance, general aviation (aircrafts other than those used by the military and commercial companies), including business jets, obtains slots (maximum of eight flights per day) from the designated official aircraft area, unlike regular scheduled flights. The MLIT has expressed its intention to implement possible measures toward boosting the convenience of airports in the capital, where there are many requests for entry by business jets, for passengers of such business jets. However, it is quite difficult for Haneda Airport to realize major improvements premised on the current arrival/departure slots and spot condition.

Meanwhile, the MLIT intends to advance studies related to the partial use of the area for official aircrafts after the transfer of the flight inspection equipment base to the Chubu Airport by the end of fiscal 2014. It is believed that the operation of flight inspection aircrafts at Haneda comes to about 1,000 times per annum. Following the shift the flight inspection equipment base, a certain amount of space will be created at the official airplane area. It is expected to lead to the enhanced flexibility of the slots for official aircrafts, as well as the transformation of the promotion of the use of business jets into a matter for review and option in the future.

As for the scheduled flights, a timetable has been set owing to the full capacity of Haneda Airport during daytime. The reserved slots for official planes may be used for such purposes as absorbing the delays in regular flights, but it is expected that the slots that will be generated by the transfer of the flight inspection equipment base will not be enough for distribution to the timetable for the scheduled flights at the airport. It seems that the transfer of the flight inspection equipment base will have limited effects to the regular flights at Haneda Airport.

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